David Meir

Life can be hard in Israel, but you have to keep fighting

At the moment I’m listening to Kool G Rap whom I recently discovered and I really enjoy his music.
Old-time hard-core gangster rap is the style of rap which speaks the most to me.
And let’s admit it, his beats are just too dope.

I was in the bank yesterday begging them for a loan.
My bank is HaPoalim bank on King George Street in Jerusalem.

I spoke with the manager; her name was Yael.

The truth is that in Israel there is an overbearing bureaucracy.
The point of it is to make things so difficult for the average citizen that they give up.

I did work for a job that was not paying a lot and my expenses were higher than the money getting in.
So they refused me a loan of 15 000 shekel (about 4200 dollars)

I have to stress that I found a new job that would pay around 1700 dollars a month (6000 + shekel).

The thing is that until I found that job, I had none for more than a month and so they say based on my last 3 months they could not give it to me and I had to prove them I was making this now higher pay and they would consider it.

Thing is that my checks for the last two rents just came back and they called me from the bank to tell me so.
I said no problem, I’ll give paper from my new job proving I’ll make a pay sufficient both to pay the rent and give back the loan and will make new checks to the landlord.

The answer they gave me is typical with what is wrong with Israel and how the clogged bureaucracy drives people to a desperate corner.

If your checks get back, we can’t allow a loan.
That’s crazy I answered, the loan would permit me to pay the rent and with the pay I’m about to make I could pay back the loan, why should it be refused?

That’s the way it is, I was answered. Put the money today or you won’t be able to make a loan.

I explained that if I had the money, I wouldn’t need a loan in the first place.

That’s the way it is and that’s the bank of Israel’s rules.

That puts in light two major problems in Israel.

The bureaucracy where government workers just do what they’re told without any hope of swaying them with facts and logic.
Rules are rules and we don’t look further.

The second thing is that various departments just throw the responsibility one to another and you have no address where you can turn your complaint and, in the end, you feel like fighting a ghost and give up which is their intent from the start.

I live for the last 25 years in Israel.
I love the country and I am a proud Zionist.

But I’m tired of fighting ghost and living on the edge and not having money to buy food.

This Monday I’ll go to the bank and give them the paper proving I started to work in that new and better paid job, but I am not optimist.

I know they’ll refuse me even if it makes no sense and would just put me in a more complicated financial situation.

I hope things get better, living here can be hard but it can be worth it.

About the Author
I was born in France and grew up in Montreal, Canada. I made Aliyah at age 21, out of Zionism and the deep religious feeling that my place is here, in Eretz Yisrael.
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